Bursting into tears, Xie Qing was overcome with emotion Friday after winning China`s fourth swimming gold at the Beijing Paralympics.
Xie was crowned after setting a new world record of 8.96 sec in the women`s 100m freestyle S11.
"It was not easy to get the gold," the 19-year-old said. "Every time our national flag is raised at the Games, I can`t help but cry.
"Every athlete who has won a gold has had a tough life," said the visually impaired teenager.
Another two Chinese swimmers, Yang Bozun and Wang Jiachao, won silver and bronze in the men`s 100m freestyle S11 and men`s 400m freestyle S8.
The Water Cube saw 10 countries divide the 16 gold on offer; Spain leading with three, and Britain, Ukraine, Russia and Germany winning two apiece.
Spaniard Enhamed Enhamed grabbed gold in the men`s 100m freestyle S11, shaving 0.38 sec off the former Paralympic world set at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
"I swam with all my heart and soul. My arms seemed not to be moving anymore, and I had to clench my teeth to finish it," he said after winning his third gold of the Games.
His compatriots Ricardo Ten and Jesus Collado bagged another two gold for Spain in men`s 100m breaststroke SB4 and 400m freestyle S9.
South African Natalie du Toit kept her gold rush momentum by pocketing her fourth gold of the Games at 4 min 23.81 sec, whittling 0.15 sec off the former world record for the women`s 400m freestyle S9.
Veteran swimmer Kirsten Bruhn of Germany snatched gold in the women`s 100m breaststroke SB5, giving the 38-year-old her third medal in Beijing.
"After the first 50m I was tired, and I had to keep pushing myself," said Bruhn.
Her teammate Thomas Grimm beat back South African Tadhg Slattery to win gold in the men`s 100m breaststroke SB5.